Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Toy shop customers raise £2m through top-up donations

Toy shop customers raise £2m through top-up donations

Customers at The Entertainer toy shops across the UK have now raised over £2 million for children’s charities, by rounding up their purchases to the nearest pound with Pennies, “the digital charity box”.

Customers shopping at The Entertainer are given the option of donating a few pence to charity when paying by card or mobile wallet.

The Entertainer is the UK’s largest independent toy retailer. It first added Pennies to the tills in its high street stores in June 2011, with the help of payments partner Worldpay.

SEE ALSO: The Entertainer hits £1m mark in Pennies partnership (2 December 2015) 

Since then, shoppers have rounded up their purchases more than 4.5 million times. The £2 million total benefits a number of causes, including eight of the country’s leading children’s hospitals and hospices, including Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. The money raised to date has supported projects and services ranging from the provision of life-saving medical equipment to play therapy services to aid patient recovery and help families in need.

Gary Grant, Founder and Managing Director of The Entertainer, said: “At an incredibly challenging time for retailers, and the British public, we’re utterly delighted that ourcustomers are giving so generously when they shop at The Entertainer. This December in our stores, someone is donating via Pennies every 13 seconds – this is truly incredible. When so many children and families are struggling with unimaginable difficulties this Christmas, we’re deeply humbled by the kindness and goodwill shown by our customers.”

Topping up a donation via Pennies at The Entertainer

Topping up a payment with a donation via Pennies at The Entertainer


Traditional collecting boxes vs Pennies

Before its partnership with Pennies, The Entertainer raised around £2,000 a year in physical loose change through till-side collection boxes. This contrasts with the £38,000 raised in a single
week recently with Pennies.

Alison Hutchinson CBE, Chief Executive of Pennies commented: “Giving to charity via Pennies is all about feeling good – knowing it is always a choice, data-free, and only a few pennies – and The Entertainer’s customers should feel fantastic about what they’ve achieved. Together they’ve given their digital small change a huge purpose and continue to make an extraordinary impact with their donations every week. If that £2 million was made up of real pennies, stacked up, they would stretch 205 miles high – 37 times the height of Mount Everest!”

Pennies has collected more than 48 million micro-donations in seven years benefiting more than 300 charities and raising over £11.5 million to date.


Contactless too

Earlier this year, The Entertainer became the first retailer to enable Pennies donations for contactless payments too, almost doubling the amount raised for charity each week.




Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.
" />